by Jessica Clare & Jen Frederick
Published: November 30, 2013, Pear Tree LLC
My rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐️
Watching from a window across the street, Nikolai keeps an eye on his mark as well as the innocent looking woman right next door. She has captured his imagination like no other woman ever has. Trained as an assassin, he never was taught any real emotions and what this girl has stirred in him is unfamiliar, but almost instinctive and feral. He needs to find a way to connect with her without pulling her into the world he exists in. A world that deals with death, to which he carries a testimony inked onto his body and marked in his soul.
Raised and schooled by her father in solitude after tragedy took her mother, Daisy even at twenty-one, was barely exposed to anyone or any place outside of the farm where they lived. Hungry for a life without restrictions, Daisy, after making sure her father would be taken care of, takes off to begin life on her terms. Despite very limited resources and decidedly unworldly, she has an obvious hunger for experience and eagerness for connection. When she runs into a man by the name of Nick by chance, she is equally intimidated by and attracted to him.
Nick is a mystery to Daisy, and yet he seems to know her well. When he speaks, he does so almost awkwardly, and with a slight accent, which Daisy finds very endearing. His tattoos don't scare her and though she can sense there is darkness in this man, she knows he has a good heart and would never harm her. She wants to experience everything with him, give all her firsts to him, but she is clueless how to show her interest.
Nikolai is completely invested in Daisy. He has no idea how to approach her properly and he knows he is not worthy of her, but he has this need to take care of her, to protect her. He quickly figures out she is a completely innocent, but eager student when it comes to sex. And having never had feeling interfere with his physical releases before, he is learning right along with her. But when his past starts to infringe on his present, and Daisy's life might be in danger, Nikolai for the first time will have to put his faith in others in order to save the woman he loves...
Ahhh-Mazing!!!! A fabulous, highly erotic and completely engaging story that sucked me in, right from the start and held me tight to the last page!
Such an interesting plot, with a complete character study of two individuals who are as socially awkward as is possible. Both main characters are unschooled in the art of communication for the purposes of making or maintaining social connections, by merit of being as far removed from the 'real' world as can be for most of their life.
Both have lived in a vacuum of sorts.
Nikolai was trained as an assassin from a young boy on, and his sense of right and wrong, of justice and his grasp on emotion was completely skewed, having been placed in the position of judge, jury and executioner on every job. Despite that, he views himself as less than human and too fouled and unworthy to be close to someone as pure and untouched as Daisy, but he can't seem to help himself......The draw is stronger than he is and she is what ultimately brings out all the different sides of Nikolai.
Daisy is not quite a blank sheet... She remembers how life was before her mother died and she also knows from the books she sneaks and the information she gathers, what life outside the restrictive world on the farm looks like. She knows quite well there are many things she is missing. But when she gets out, she welcomes opportunities with open arms and with a sense of fearlessness that only those who have not seen all the darkness of humanity, will feel free to do. With Nikolai as her self-assigned protector, she has found the one person who will keep her safe as she explores all she wants to know.
Even when evil finds her.
The large lines in this story paint a gorgeous contrast between dark and light and a compelling story of redemption. The details, the intricacies of the growth of both main characters and the development of their relationship against the harshness of the environment that fosters a killer for hire, and the careful manoeuvring required in that world, is drawn together in a smooth and flowing writing style by Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick. This is an UN-PUT-DOWNABLE book!! And I am so looking forward to the next one!!!
✨A powerful, sensuous, sinister and mesmerizing study in contrast!✨